F I would have been here…. - jeepneyjinggoy

I would have been here….

...to step in Sakura heaven at Shinjuku Gyoen

COVID-19 has disrupted everything, travel plans included. I know I’m not alone on those who swiped their plastic fantastic (aka credit card) to snag a good deal on place tickets to their favorite destinations. As soon as the lockdown commenced, airports closed, flights were cancelled and the 2020 dream journeys went pffft. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Even with the travel bans were lifted and planes took to the sky, to travel is a hassle—big time! Travelers need documents. Lots of it. Travel clearance from the barangay and police, and proof that you are COVID-19 free at leas 48 hours before the departure date. You know how much a swab test cost? P 6,500. And you need two, heading off and coming home. 

If you’re flying in from another country, add the cost of hotel accommodations for three nights while waiting for the result. You can’t board on your connecting domestic flight until then. If your flight gets cancelled, who shoulders the cost of the swab test? Your guess is as good as mine. So it's best if we wait this pandemic through. Stay home, wash hands frequently, use mask and pray for the vaccine ASAP. 

In the meantime, why not sift through your travel photos and daydream? Draft a bigger and more exciting plan for a first post-pandemic destination. Fly Business Class, upgrade to a luxury hotel, book a table at a Michelin-starred restaurant because…why not? After staying put for months (and turning into bakers, gardeners, interior designers or barter experts), you deserve this treat.
2020 travel cancelled due to COVID-19
...to explore more of Taipei and beyond

Taipei and Tokyo for the Sakura was on my list. It's not a first time there but there are places that you can't get enough of and these two are on it. Luckily, I haven't purchased tickets for those places. However, I have booked tickets to Bangkok in May, an annual scheduled trip, and Boracay in August. Both were cancelled. Not so lucky with T’s and B’s trips so far, but there’s another “B” destination in October— Bohol. I pray something positive will turn out before the departure date. 

2020 travel cancelled due to COVID-19
...to be under Sakura blooms in Tokyo

You see, I am not alone in this. In social media, I see posts of “if not for the pandemic, I would have been here by now” captioned to a photo. Well, what do you know, it seems that Japan is leading, if it were a popularity race. Maybe because it’s the site of the 2020 Olympics, or the ramen. 

2020 travel cancelled due to COVID-19
...to enjoy the sun, surf and sand in Boracay

Months back, I did a story on where would Davaoeños go after the pandemic. Siargao topped the list followed by Coron and Bohol. I wouldn’t mind going to some exotic destination and emerge in salt water for hours of cleansing ritual. It seems that seaside areas are COVID-19 free. Am I right on this? If so, lucky are those who live by the beach. Fresh, healing air all the way!

...to sip cocktails while enjoying the cityscape from a rooftop bar Bangkok

So until it is safe to travel, let’s keep on wishing, planning. Ticking off places from the bucket list are put on hold at the moment, but knowing how generous the Universe is, we will be riding planes and finding ourselves in our dream destinations soon enough. Meanwhile, let’s do our share in flattening the curve. 

2020 travel cancelled due to COVID-19
...to bury my feet in the white sands of Panglao in Bohol

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

Follow jeepneyjinggoy on  Instagram  and  Facebook 
For lifestyle features, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com
Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com